Do you “FoF” before you demo?

Imagine, you are about to give another demo of your company’s excellent technology solution. You have re-initialised the demo setup, so that all the changes you made in the last demo have gone. You have hooked up the projector, adjusted the keystone so that it displays properly on the screen, and set all the chairs out so everyone can see your demo.

Everyone files in and sites down eagerly awaiting your demo. After a short introduction from your host you’re ready and off you go, showing the best of your technology off first. Fingers flying across the keyboard, well practised benefit phrases accompanying every feature that you show.

Your audience are sitting there mouths open, eyes shut, snoring gently.

What has gone wrong? The last time you did this demo the audience were in raptures, they couldn’t get enough of it, what’s wrong with this lot? Don’t they understand how wonderful this solution is? “What an ignorant audience”, you think.

Sound familiar?

So what has gone wrong? 

Did you remember to “FoF”?

“FoF”? I hear you say. What the …. is “FoF”?

“FoF” stands for “Find out First”, and is an essential part of every demonstration. Giving a demo without “FoF” is like a doctor giving you a prescription before he examines you, or an estate agent (realtor) taking you to view a property, without asking what type, style, size and price you have in mind.

Before any demonstration, you need to “Find out First”, i.e find out:

  • what your audience are interested  in?
  • what problems they are experiencing with their current system?
  • why the are looking to acquire a new system?

 In short, you need to know what they want or need to see, otherwise you may be showing them things they don’t want or don’t appreciate.

Okay, you think, next time I’ll check first.

So at start of the next demo you ask “What would you like to see?”

But the problem is most audiences will respond with:

 “I don’t know.  It’s your system,  just show us how it works.”

So you are no further forward.

One of the best ways to find out is using the SPIN questioning technique as taught by Huthwaite’s. This is a questioning technique which starts by asking questions about the current situation, then expands on this to identify problems which the respondent may or may not already be aware of. Further questions surrounding these problems probe to find the implicit and explicit needs that these problems are symptomatic of and finally you end up asking the  need (or Payoff) questions to confirm exactly what is needed by the prospect and how much it would be worth. 

Armed with the answers to these questions, you will have a much better understanding of your prospects needs and wants. Not only will you know what they are likely to be interested in, you will know what their most pressing problem is and hence you will know what to show first in your demo.   

So next time, instead of rolling out the same old canned demo, which you have done may times before, remember to “FoF”, and create a new demo which solves the problems of this particular audience.




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